Media Release: Holiday tips: Healthy Eating Tips

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11-12-2009 (Dayton, OH) - The holidays are a wonderful time of the year; however it is easy to neglect healthy eating habits when temptations are everywhere. Planning ahead during the holidays can help your family stay healthy, while keeping the fun in your holidays.

"As the holidays approach, it's important to plan special, yet healthy, meals and a mix of activity in your child's routine," says Jeff Delahunt, director of dietetics and nutrition at the Children's Medical Center of Dayton.

Remember these five simple tips:

  • Portion control. Watching portion sizes will help a child eat healthier and avoid adding extra pounds. Using moderation when choosing foods that are special to the holidays, like cookies, pies and fudge can help satisfy a sweet tooth without sending blood sugar levels too high or adding unnecessary calories.
  • Change recipes. With minor modifications, the entire family can still enjoy traditional holiday dishes. Consider fat-free or light sour cream in recipes or as a garnish. Try steaming vegetables rather than cooking in butter.
  • Monitor kids' access to food. Help a child resist temptation and overeating by encouraging them to eat small snacks throughout the day so they don't feel hungry. Select foods carefully and don't eat at the buffet table. Start the day with a small meal that includes whole grains, fruits, dairy foods and protein.
  • Plan active family events. Spend some holiday together time with active outings such as hiking or sledding, visits to the zoo or museums, trying out an indoor rock climbing wall, visiting an indoor pool together or going skating. If you don't have time for a big outing, just go outside together to play games like tag, jump rope or build a snowman. Park your car and walk neighborhoods or downtown to see holiday decorations.
  • Buy gifts that promote being active. Include at least one gift for each child that will help them enjoy being active, such as a new bike, skates, or balls. A gift for the whole family, like a badminton set or snow skis, can create a new opportunity for everyone to enjoy the double benefits of play and physical activity. Remember to purchase safety equipment such as helmets or knee pads as well if recommended.
Healthy holiday eating is important for everyone, however if your child might need individualized attention to learn more about nutrition and exercise consider The Body Shop.

The Body Shop is a nutrition and exercise program for children ages 8- to 18-years-old.

The Body Shop teaches children how to live a healthy lifestyle, not just how to lose weight. The program focuses on nutrition, physical activity and parent/child support to learn how to deal with emotional eating, boredom, bullying, self-esteem and emotions.

The Body Shop's participants meet Tuesday nights from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm for eight weeks. Parents also work with the staff to assist their children in meeting their weight loss goal.

Children must have a student health assessment form filled out by their physician prior to participating in the Body Shop. Forms are available online.

The fee to attend the Body Shop is $325 per child, which includes a $25 registration fee. Once the registration fee is paid, minimum payments of $37.50 per week can also be made. Scholarships are available to families in need.

"It is our goal that by the end of the program, the participants not only have a better knowledge of a healthy lifestyle, but more importantly, a better outlook on life and improved self-esteem," Delahunt says.

For more information on the Body Shop call 937-641-5378 or 1-800-228-4055 for residence outside of the Montgomery County area.

For more information, contact:
Marketing Communications Department
Phone: 937-641-3666
marketing@childrensdayton.org

 

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